Hoops

DEREK CLARKSTON/Kodiak Daily Mirror

Kodiak’s John Ticman passes the ball during a boys high school basketball game against Wasilla Friday at Kodiak High School. 

Scoring does not come easy in a Northern Lights Conference boys basketball game. 

In seven conference games this season, teams are combining to average 77 total points — 45 for the winners and 32 for the losers. 

That’s not a bundle of points.

While Colony scored a conference-best 68 points in a victory over Palmer this season, three times the winning NLC team has failed to hit for more than 35 points, while three times the losing NLC has been held under 25 points. 

Wasilla coach Ryan Engebretsen attributed the low-scoring affairs to the quality of the coaches in the conference. 

“There is so much coaching that is going on in our conference to get the best and most out of our kids, which makes it a blast to coach in this conference because there is not an easy game,” he said. 

 

ALASKA AIR CLASSIC

Anchorage’s Daishen Nix returned home and led Trinity International of Nevada to the Alaska Airlines Classic title on Saturday. 

Nix, a five-star senior who is headed to UCLA in the fall, scored 21 points in a 70-63 championship game win over Dimond. 

Not to be outdone, the Lynx’s Isaiah Moses — the 53rd Joe Floyd Tournament MVP — dropped in a game-high 42 points. 

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Nix attended Mears Middle School in Anchorage and moved to Nevada to advance in basketball. 

Nix, a 6-foot-5 senior, was recently named to the McDonald’s All-American team.

 

NLC RANKINGS 

Boys

1. Soldotna (11-2, 2-1) — The Stars suffered their first conference loss of the season, dropping a 54-46 game to Palmer. Soldotna did pick up a victory over Nikiski (77-26) last week.

“We had chances,” Soldotna coach Nolan Rose told the Peninsula Clarion after the Palmer loss. “It seemed like every time we had a chance to grab a loose ball we would fumble it and it would bounce right to Palmer for a layup.” 

The Clarion also reported that senior Jersey Truesdell scored his 1,000th career point during the game. He finished with 12.  

Up next: Grace Christian (Saturday)

 

2. Colony (7-4, 1-0) — Colony might be the best team in the conference, but they have four fewer wins than Soldotna, which is why they sit at second. After demolishing Palmer (68-25), the Knights went 2-2 in the tough Alaska Airlines Classic, dropping games to Trinity out of Nevada (68-52) and East Anchorage (50-47). The Knights finished the tournament with a win over Juneau (73-46). 

Up next: Wasilla (Friday) 

 

3. Palmer (6-5, 2-1) — Palmer had an up-and-down week, dropping a 43-point game to rival Colony and traveling to Soldotna to pick up an eight-point victory. Lavar Marshall led the Moose past the Stars with 21 points, while Dan Osiensky added 14. 

Up next: At the 2020 West Valley Boys Invitational Basketball Tournament (Lathrop, West Valley and Kodiak). 

 

4. Wasilla (4-6, 1-2) — The Warriors snapped a four-game losing skid with a victory over Kodiak (34-24) on The Rock. Wasilla is averaging only 38.7 points per game this season. 

Up next: Colony (Friday) 

 

5. Kodiak (4-7, 1-3) — For the second straight season, Kodiak split a home two-game series with Wasilla. The Bears defense has excelled in the past three games, allowing a paltry 34 points.  

Up next: At the 2020 West Valley Boys Invitational Basketball Tournament (Lathrop, West Valley and Palmer). 

 

Girls

1. Soldotna (13-0, 3-0) — Soldotna continued to win last week, taking down Nikiski (55-22) and Palmer (57-40). Ituau Tuisaula went off against the Moose, scoring a game-high 25 points, while Drysta Crosby-Schneider added 14 points.

Up next: Grace Christian (Saturday) 

 

2. Colony (9-1, 1-0) — Colony, which is the top-ranked 4A girls team in the Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches Poll, defeated Palmer (54-19) last week to pick up its first NLC win of the season. 

Up next: Wasilla (Friday)

 

3. Wasilla (7-5, 3-0) — This is shaping up as a three-team race for the NLC crown, as Wasilla stayed undefeated in conference play with a sweep of Kodiak over the weekend. 

Up next: Colony (Friday)

 

4. Palmer (2-10, 0-3) — The Moose played a strong first half against Soldotna, which moved them to No. 4 in this week’s rankings. Palmer only trailed Soldotna 27-24 at intermission but was outscored 30-16 in the second half. Catherine Lischmann led Palmer with 11 points.

Up next: East Anchorage (Saturday)  

 

5. Kodiak (4-6, 0-6) — The good news for Kodiak is the toughest two-week stretch of its schedule is now over. The Bears will aim to snap a five-game losing skid against 3A Redington this weekend at Kodiak High. The Huskies, a fifth-year varsity program, head to The Rock with an 8-2 record.

Up next: Redington (Friday and Saturday) 

 

 

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